Balance in life – what is Tao? and how to find it

Most of us have no idea how to find our balance in life. Consider this:

Step 1: It’s a Saturday night and you had a long week of work, so you decide to stay in and get a McDonald’s take out.

Your intentions start with just a regular burger and fries, because, well, you’re ‘not that hungry’……but you somehow end up with a Big Tasty, large fries, large coke, nuggets, chicken strips and an apple pie for dessert!

Step 2: The following Monday you feel guilty and decide to cut out meat and sweets, so you go on a healthy plant based diet. You manage 5 days of the week on a low calorie vegan diet…… only to end up, however, neck deep in a jar of nutella on the weekend, after having devoured a kilo tagliata for lunch. 

Step 3: So you instead decide to start an exercise routine. For 2 weeks you start kicking ass, fitting in daily workouts until you burn yourself out

…..only to find yourself, as a result, lazing and repeating steps 1 and 2 for the remainder of the year.

Sound familiar? 

The concept of Tao – balance in life

In Chinese philosophy, there’s a concept of duality referred to as Yin-Yang, where opposite life forces are interdependent on each other. 

Life and death, night and day, male and female, rigorous exercise and no exercise, binge eating and not eating are opposites that interrelate to one another, like all things in our universe. 

In addition, in the middle, there is then the complex concept of ‘Tao'( the ‘Way’) which in brief can be thought of as an equilibrium state of balance of all life energies and the state of being by which we should live our lives.

Michael A. Singer in his book ‘An Untethered Soul’, described the Yin-Yang perfectly as a swinging pendulum. We live most of our lives exerting energy, trying to maintain or reach the opposite extremities of the pendulum.

The above scenarios, above all, show us how one extreme leads us to go seek the opposite extremity, with limited results or drained energy in getting there.

The key, therefore, is finding  the middle point, the ‘Tao’, the balancing point, the present moment where the pendulum stops swinging and you resist the pulls towards the extremities. 

Hence, living your life with an ‘everything in moderation’ awareness and attitude, will build self-discipline, refuel your energy stores and allow you to enjoy that McD’s in style!

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